Budget & Appropriations: House Committee Approves L-HHS-ED Appropriations

On May 8, the House Appropriations Committee approved its fiscal year (FY) 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (L-HHS-ED) bill. The bill provides $189.9 billion in funding, a 7% increase over FY 2019. Most of The Arc’s priority programs received increases. Particularly notable increases include the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B State Grants (8.1%), Lifespan Respite Care Program (33.8%), State Grants to Remove Barriers to Voting (28.7%), and Rehabilitation Services Administration Demonstration and Training Programs (26.5%). Funding levels for The Arc’s priority programs can be found here. Senate Appropriators, meanwhile, have declined to move forward with spending bills until a deal is reached to increase the spending caps for discretionary programs. Absent a deal, the spending cap for all non-defense discretionary programs would be reduced by 9% for FY 2020.

Budget & Appropriations: House Subcommittee Approves FY 2020 L-HHS-Ed Funding Bill

On April 30, the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (L-HHS-ED) approved its funding bill for fiscal year (FY) 2020. The bill provides $189.8 billion in funding, a 7% increase over FY 2019. It includes several increases of interest to the disability community, such as an increase in Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B funding of $1 billion (8%); $3 billion for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Grants, $178 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level; and $245 million for Family Caregivers Services, an increase of $26 million above the 2019 enacted level. However, detailed line item information for most programs will not be available until May 8 when the full committee mark-up is scheduled to take place. While the House is moving forward with its spending bills, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) said his committee will not markup any bills until a budget deal is reached to raise the spending caps for both defense and non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs. Absent a budget deal, NDD funding (which supports numerous disability programs) is facing a 9% cut in FY 2020.

Budget & Appropriations: House Committee Passes Bill to Increase Spending Caps for FY 2020

On April 4, the House Budget Committee reported out the Investing for the People Act (H.R.2021) to raise on defense and nondefense discretionary (NDD) spending by $88 billion each in FY 2020 and FY 2021. If the spending caps created by the Budget Control Act of 2011 remain in place, non-defense discretionary (NDD) funding will be reduced by $55 billion (9%) compared to the current fiscal year. The NDD part of the federal budget includes education, housing, employment, transportation, Developmental Disabilities Councils, protection and advocacy (P&A) programs, university centers on disabilities, and many more programs. The vote was 19-17, largely along party lines. The bill was subsequently pulled before making it to the House floor due to disagreements among Democrats regarding the relative increase for defense and NDD programs.

Budget & Appropriations: Senate Republicans Release FY 2020 Budget Resolution With Instructions That Could Affect Medicaid

On March 22, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) released a draft budget resolution for fiscal year (FY) 2020. The budget proposes to reduce the deficit by $538 billion over five years compared to current law, primarily through reductions in mandatory spending. Additionally, it provides reconciliation instructions for five committees to reduce the deficit by a total of $94 billion. To learn more about the budget proposal, see the committee website. Unlike the president’s budget, budget resolutions in the House and Senate can be enacted and have the force of law. While the Senate budget is not nearly as extreme as the president’s budget, it’s inclusion of reconciliation instructions is the first step to developing legislation that could change the structure and financing of the Medicaid program. The House would need to pass the identical measure for such legislation to be developed.

Budget & Appropriations: President Releases FY 2020 Budget Request Documents

On March 11, President Trump released his fiscal year (FY) 2020 Budget Request. The budget proposes $2.7 trillion in cuts over 10 years, including cuts to Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act programs, and non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs. NDD programs – which include education, employment, housing, transportation, and more – would be cut by $54 billion (9 percent from 2019 levels alone). Throughout the week, more detailed department budgets have been released, including those for the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Justice. These department budgets reveal drastic cuts for numerous disability-related programs such as:

  • Office of Disability Employment Policy: -30%
  • Developmental Disabilities Councils State Grants: -26%
  • University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities: -20%
  • Lifespan Respite: -25%

Though the President’s Budget Request does not have the force of law, it can set the stage for the Congressional budgets which follow. Click here to see proposed spending levels for disability-related discretionary programs in the President’s FY 2020 Budget Request. For more information, see The Arc’s statement.

Budget & Appropriations: President Signs Full-Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Appropriations Bill

On February 15, President Trump signed a bill funding the seven remaining appropriations packages for the remainder of FY 2019, which ends September 30. The passage of this bill means that the government will not be shut down over appropriations disputes until after that date. The Arc welcomes enactment of funding for the federal departments that administer programs important to people with disabilities, including the Departments of Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, and Transportation.

Budget & Appropriations: Deadline for Spending Agreement Approaching; Another Partial Government Shutdown Is Possible

Congress has until midnight on Friday, February 15 to reach agreement on a spending bill for the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, State, and Transportation. Negotiations appear to have stalled over the weekend due to disagreements about funding for Homeland Security. If no agreement is reached, another partial government shutdown will begin.

Budget & Appropriations: President Trump Signs Short-Term Funding Bill Ending Partial Government Shutdown

On January 25, President Trump announced a deal to re-open the government until February 15 with the expectation that negotiations on a longer term deal would occur during that time. The Senate and the House of Representatives both passed a three-week continuing resolution, which was signed by President Trump. The Arc welcomes the restoration of funding for programs that are important to people with disabilities and hopes for prompt enactment of funding for the remainder of fiscal year 2019.

Budget & Appropriations: House Passes Funding Bills to End Partial Government Shutdown

On January 18, the House passed a six-week continuing resolution (CR) by voice vote to extend temporary funding through February 28 for agencies that are not presently funded. The CR contains six spending bills that were negotiated by the House and Senate last fall: Agriculture, Transportation-HUD, Financial Services, Interior-Environment, State and Foreign Ops, and Commerce-Justice-Science. The package also includes a way to pay furloughed federal employees. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will not bring any spending measure to the Senate for a vote unless the President has agreed to sign it. President Trump maintains he will not sign the measures to end the partial shutdown if they do not include $5.7 billion for the border wall with Mexico. The Arc supports promptly restoring funding for agencies funded through the Commerce-Justice-Science and Transportation-HUD appropriations packages as these agencies operate programs important to people with disabilities.